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The Voyage of Turtle Rex    by Kurt Cyrus order for
Voyage of Turtle Rex
by Kurt Cyrus
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2011 (2011)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Kurt Cyrus has written a companion book to Tadpole Rex, which told the story of dinosaurs and frogs living on earth together.

This equally engaging picture book chronicles the life cycle of sea turtles and also traces their origins back to primitive days of old. The book, in a pitch-perfect rhyming voice, tells how turtles lived among the dinosaurs but evolved and survived to this day.

His observations are acute:

'Time, like a turtle, passed silently by,
stirring the sea, swirling the sky.
The hatchling who hid in the seaweed was gone ...
grown to a two-ton archelon.
She glided past plesiosaurs, calm as you please.
She swam with the sharks under rolling seas.

Young elementary school-aged children, particularly dinosaur-loveres, will enjoy this book, that manages to be simultaneously entertaining and educational.

'Gone is that sea and the creatures it knew.
Archelon. Mosasaur. Pterosaur, too.
Gone is the plesiosaur's clam-cracking smile ...
but full-body helmets are still in style.

Speckled or spotted, pancake or box;
some soft as leather, some hard as rocks;
shells of all fashions continue to girdle
the middle of many a tortoise and turtle.

And somewhere a sea turtle bolts from the shore,
Scraping a trail to the sea once more.

The aqua-hued illustrations are full of detail but are not overdone. The last page, depicting a small sea turtle crossing a vast shore, shows how a tiny creature can make a huge impact. The author's note provides additional information about the plight of sea turtles today.

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